This book was the first English-language history of Poland from the Second World War until the fall of Communism. Using a wide range of Polish archives and unpublished sources in Moscow and Washington, Tony Kemp-Welch integrates the Cold War history of diplomacy and inter-state relations with the study of domestic opposition and social movements. His key themes encompass political, social and economic history; the Communist movement and its relations with the Soviet Union; and the broader East-West context with particular attention to US policies. The book concludes with a first-hand account of how Solidarity formed the world's first post-Communist government in 1989 as the Polish people demonstrated what can be achieved by civic courage against apparently insuperable geo-strategic obstacles. This compelling new account will be essential reading for anyone interested in Polish history, the Communist movement and the course of the Cold War.
Tony Kemp-Welch was educated at the London School of Economics and held research posts at the Universities of Oxford, Moscow, Harvard and Cambridge. He is the author of The Birth of Solidarity and Stalin and the Literary Intelligentsia and co-author and editor of The Ideas of Nikolai Bukharin, Intellectuals in Politics and Stalinism in Poland, 1944-1956.